Lance McAlister

Lance McAlister

Lance McAlister covers everything in Cincinnati sports! Host of sports talk on Cincinnati News Radio 700WLW and ESPN 1530!Full Bio


Reds: The black hole of LF over the years

The search to find a left-fielder senior writer Dave Schoenfield wrote an interesting piece this week. He looks at the weakest position for each MLB team over the last decade. 

Help wanted!Dave Schoenfield,
Almost every team has a problem position -- you know, that spot where one season a hot prospect is starting (and failing), the next season it’s a washed-up vet, then some random Triple-A player -- and the team can never get out of that cycle.Maybe your favorite club has one.............

He concludes LF has been the Reds biggest trouble spot. Is there any doubt? Heck, think of the team's four decade plus search at that position around the careers of George Foster and Adam Dunn. 

Reds manager Sparky Anderson moved Foster into the starting left-field spot during the 1975 season and the rest the say, is history. Foster won an MVP award and was one of the best players in the game for a seven year stretch.

George Foster 1975-1981
Average season: .297-.369-.543-.911, 32 HR, 107 RBI, OPS+ 149

Dunn arrived on the scene in 2001 and locked down the LF spot in 2002. But remember when people use to complain that he struck out too much, didn't drive in enough runs and couldn't play defense?I may have even referred to Dunn as a beer-league softball player on occasion. Looking back, all he did was hit 40 bombs, drive in 100 runs, walk 100 times and strikeout a gazzilion times a year. I still remember fans complaining that he didn't have a single sacrifice fly in 2004.

Adam Dunn 20002-2008
Average season: .246-.382-.514-.896, 37 HR, 90 RBI, 108 BB, 169 K, OPS+ 130

Think about the options the Reds tried at that position from George Foster's final season in 1982 to Dunn grabbing the full-time role in 2002. And then consider the black hole in LF from Dunn's departure by trade in August of 2008 until now:

I looked back at the LF position for the Reds over the years:
The Reds traded Adam Dunn in August of 2008. By my count they have used over 40 different players in LF, including eight in 2014 and nine in 2015 and nine in 2016.

Some of the players that have made appearances in LF since the Dunn trade:
Yonder Alonso, Wladimir Balentien, Roger Bernadina, Brennan Boesch, Jason Bourgeois, Marlon Byrd, Jolbert Cabrera, Wilkin Castillo, Shin-Soo Choo, Ivan De Jesus Jr., Chris Dickerson, Chris Dominguez, Adam Duvall, Jim Edmonds, Todd Frazier, Jonny Gomes, Jerry Hairston Jr., Willie Harris, Chris Heisey, Jeremy Hermida, Tyler Holt, Ryan LaMarre, Fred Lewis, Ryan Ludwick, Donald Lutz, Darnell McDonald, Kristopher Negron, Laynce Nix, Xavier Paul, Jose Peraza, Tony Renda, Derrick Robinson, Yorman Rodriguez, Dave Sappelt, Scott Schebler, Skip Schumaker, Steve Selksky, Drew Sutton, Joey Votto and Kyle Waldrop.

Adam Duvall hit 33 homers and drove in 103 runs in his 2016 All-Star season and was a Gold Glove finalist. Can he replicate that performance in 2017? Is he the long-term answer? What about Jesse Winker? Could Winker be the next to lock down the position for a multi-year run?

Leader in games played in LF since 1982

1982: Eddie Milner

1983: Gary Redus

1984: Gary Redus

1985: Gary Redus

1986: Eric Davis

1987: Ken Griffey Sr.

1988: Kal Daniels

1989: Kal Daniels

1990: Billy Hatcher

1991: Billy Hatcher

1992: Bip Roberts

1993: Kevin Mitchell

1994: Kevin Mitchell

1995: Ron Gant

1996: Eric Owens

1997: Chris Stynes

1998: Dmitri Young

1999: Greg Vaughn

2000: Dmitri Young

Adam Dunn 20002-2008

2009: Lanyce Nix

2010: Johnny Gomes

2011: Chris Heisey

2012: Ryan Ludwick

2013: Chris Heisey

2014: Ryan Ludwick

2015: Marlon Byrd

2016: Adam Duvall

2017, 2018, 2019, 2020.......?

Join our conversation HERE 

What would be the strongest position group for the franchise over the years?

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